5 Ways People Made a Difference in 2019

December 30, 2019. Article by: Government of BC

Throughout 2019, people from all walks of life worked hard to save lives, reduce stigma and raise awareness of the overdose emergency in B.C.

These change-makers – from peer support workers, healthcare professionals and first responders to grandmothers, friends and neighbours – made a difference for people who are experiencing substance use challenges every day. Each person contributed their individual skills, perspectives and experiences to the compassionate, person-centred efforts taking place across the province to address the overdose emergency.

Here are just a few examples of the people and programs that are making a difference.

  • Nelson Comes Together to Fight Stigma and Overdose: A video series by ANKORS in Nelson poignantly highlighted how anyone can be affected by substance use challenges and the overdose emergency, leading to big accomplishments for the small community.
  • Overdose Memorial Spreads Message of Hope: After her son died of an overdose, Judith Conway set out to honour his memory and raise awareness of substance use and addiction by creating a touching memorial to people lost to the overdose emergency.
  • Project Angel Gives Hope in Overdose Emergency: An innovative partnership of peer support workers and first responders is making positive change for people experiencing homelessness, substance use, mental health and related challenges in Abbotsford.
  • Indigenous Perspectives of Trauma and Substance Use: Substance use challenges can be rooted in a range of factors and causes. Teacher, artist, psychotherapist and director of mental wellness at the First Nations Health Authority, Patricia Vickers, explained the link between intergenerational trauma and substance use.
  • How Foundry Supports Youth to Find Positive Pathways: People aged 15 – 24 are more likely to experience substance use challenges than any other age group in Canada. Foundry North Shore’s occupational therapy program is helping young people address substance use challenges.